After decades of making us laugh, Chris Rock is looking to give viewers nightmare fuel by stepping into the blood-soaked world of the Saw movies as an executive producer for a new entry to Lionsgate's horror franchise of deadly traps and heart-wrenching (and often limb-ripping) decisions.
Variety reports that in addition to executive producing the new Saw movie, which is described as a "spinoff," Rock also conceived the story for the new film, which will be written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, the writers of 2017's Jigsaw, the most recent entry in the eight-film franchise.
Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV, will return to direct the spinoff, which is currently untitled.
Joining Rock as executive producers are the creators of Saw themselves, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, with Daniel Heffner also executive producing, and Mark Burg and Oren Koules on board as producers.
The Saw spinoff is scheduled to come out in theaters on October 23rd, 2020 from Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures.
A diehard Saw fan, Rock shared his excitement about the collaboration (via Variety):
“I’ve been a fan of ‘Saw’ since the first film in 2004. I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.”
Joe Drake, the Chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, discussed Rock's approach to the new Saw movie:
“When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in. ‘Saw’ is one of the highest-grossing horror franchises of all time and it’s one of Lionsgate’s most successful film series. This upcoming film will still be as mind bending and intense as all the previous ‘Saw’ films. Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise.”
Burg and Koules added their thoughts on the project, teasing what horror fans can expect from the Saw spinoff:
“Chris wants to put his own spin on the ‘Saw’ franchise in the way Eddie Murphy put a completely fresh perspective on buddy-cop films with ’48 Hours. This new ‘Saw’ is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans. It will have all of the twists and turns and hardcore layers that our fans expect directed by one of the masters of the craft, Darren Lynn Bousman. We can’t wait to get started.”
Since the first Saw (based on a 2003 short film of the same name) was released in 2004, the franchise has spawned seven sequels and enjoyed box office longevity. Each film places people who have done morally questionable things in gruesome traps that often require immense sacrifices to escape, and it will be interesting to see the approach Rock and company take to the macabre material in the spinoff.
There's no word yet if Tobin Bell will return to reprise his role as John Kramer, aka the Jigsaw Killer, but we'll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated as more details are announced. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Rock and Bousman taking the Saw franchise in a new direction?